Lots of gardeners now save their favourite tomato seed but the truth is not many of them know how to do it reliably and wonder why their tomatoes fail eventually. There’s a few tricks we’re going to share that will give your chances of good seed lasting till next Spring and a good 5 years into the future.
As your tomatoes are ripening start collecting the best tomatoes for seed saving right through the season from beginning to end if possible. This keeps the quality of saved seed the best with a long growing season. In a jar squeeze the juice of the tomato to collect the seeds still in their juice. Add a little lukewarm water and cover to make fly proof. Place out of the sun and allow to ferment (depending on heat 2 to 3 days). Note image 1 at end of fermentation process, white fungus capping mixture. Pour this mix in metal sieve and wash thru. Note image 2 and 3 the pressure of tap tends to wash most but not all soft rotting debris out. Now spoon washed out seed back into cleaned jar and add water. Then when viable seed has dropped to the base of jar gently pour out excess water, debris and dead seed which floats out being careful to leave good seed still at base. Note image 4 and 5. Do this a second time then pour seed again in sieve and tap out excess water leaving drier seed in sieve. Empty this mix straight onto A4 foolscap paper and allow to dry. Name and tag. Note image 6.
Don’t put on absorbent paper because it will stick and inhibit your seed saving. Once dry place in paper bag allowing more time to dry. After a month or more place completely dry seed in small plastic bag always saving in cool dry place.
Tagging is very important with as much information as possible.